It is easy to forget about the Thanksgiving Holiday
when living in Israel.
Except for social media posts about the difficulty
of obtaining a whole turkey in a country
where so much turkey is consumed,
regular Israelis have no idea it is a holiday.
What is consuming everyone’s attention is that for
three days, arson-ignited forest fires are spreading,
forcing people from their homes,
with the latest fires raging in Haifa.
I have not heard of any deaths,
but the destruction is massive.
Israel’s working poor have a difficult time,
their basic monthly salaries are too low.
One set back with a sick family member
could tip the balance and set debts soaring,
causing families to lose their homes.
If you take the light rail train to the end of line
all the way to Pisgat Zev,
the northern Jerusalem neighborhood
with tens of thousands of residents
you will see new construction projects underway.
Since it is further from the city center,
rentals are more reasonably priced,
and therefore, it is home to some of Jerusalem’s poorest families.
This week I was inside several of their apartments:
religious, not religious, Ethiopian,
down-on-your-luck poverty does not discriminate.
This kitchen with its wood trim looks lovely,
but it is a six-floor walk-up with no elevator,
makes it a lower rental property.
Israeli rentals, most often, do not come with appliances.
The oven was broken, and
the tenant did not have money to buy a new one.
On the real Jerusalem streets,
not all is beautiful or perfect.
Thankfully, there are people trying to help.
as you will see at the end of this blog.
Meanwhile, if you have the time and money,
you could eat and drink every night in a different location.
Hamshushalim in Jerusalem,
special hotel deals and offers each December weekend,
has been going strong for years.
Open Restaurant is Jerusalem’s newest food festival.
From November 22-26,
tours, food, classes and more,
will be happening on the Jerusalem streets.
One event at the Hansen House has robots
serving as waiters for 3D printed food.
What a contrast to those struggling to get along.
There is so much to be thankful for every day.
This is first year in a long time,
I did not actively participate in a Thanksgiving Dinner for lone soldiers.
Hard to do it all, time is short,
I won’t keep you any longer today.
But if you are thankful for what you have,
consider helping those who are not so fortunate.
Here are links to three worthy organizations
I was involved with this week:
Take a look and see what you can do
to make the world a better place.
Thanks from Jerusalem, Israel.